Face of a Newport Roman citizen revealed
3:20pm Friday 18th January 2013 in News
THE face of a Roman citizen who lived in Newport and was buried almost 1,800 years ago has been unveiled in Caerleon.
The Bath stone coffin and its resident skeleton at the National Roman Legion Museum has always provoked interest from visitors.
But now, for the first time, the face of the coffin’s resident has been unveiled in a portrait on display at the museum.
The portrait has emerged following collaborative research including isotope analyses and 3D modelling.
Analysis carried out on the skeleton’s teeth revealed that the man in the coffin had spent his childhood years, between the ages of five and eight, in the Newport area and was probably a local boy.
A forensic facial reconstruction was then created and the results used by conservator and artist, Penny Hill, to create a modern portrait of the man in life.
The Roman Bath stone coffin contains the skeleton of the well-preserved male of about 40 years of age who was buried circa AD 200.
It was discovered in November 1995 during building work to enlarge the Caerleon campus of Newport university and the remains were recovered and moved to the museum for study and conservation.
The coffin base, skeleton and associated artefacts were conserved and first displayed at the museum in spring 2002.
Dr Mark Lewis said, "I’m delighted that the final part of the redisplay has been completed. We felt that the research potential of the skeletal remains had not been realised and we wanted to attempt to reconstruct the face of the man in the coffin using modern forensic techniques otherwise used by the police."